Establishing Chinese middle-school students’ mental-health norms with the Symptom Check List-90-R

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Yulan Yu
Xudong Zhao
Chonghua Wan
Chuanzhi Xu
Lei Shang
Yuhong Yao
Shaojiang Miao
Ying Liu
Cite this article:  Yu, Y., Zhao, X., Wan, C., Xu, C., Shang, L., Yao, Y., Miao, S., & Liu, Y. (2017). Establishing Chinese middle-school students’ mental-health norms with the Symptom Check List-90-R. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 45(2), 223-234.


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Despite the widespread application of the Symptom Check List-90-R (SCL-90-R) with Chinese middle-school students, there are currently no widely accepted national norms for mental health specifically for this group. In this study our aim was to establish mental-health norms for Chinese middle-school students using the Chinese version of the SCL-90-R. A large sample (N = 20,862) of Chinese middle-school students completed the SCL-90-R. Their mean scores for the 9 subscales of the SCL-90-R ranged from 1.45 to 1.85. The mean General Symptomatic Index score was 1.61 ± 0.57. There were significant differences between these norms and the norms reported in a Chinese study conducted in 1986. The scores we recorded in this study can be used as new mental-health norms for this age group because the data were acquired directly through a survey using a large sample representative of middle-school students in China.

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